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motte 1also mott (mŏt)
A copse or small stand of trees on a prairie.
[American Spanish mata, from Spanish, shrub, probably from Late Latin matta, mat; see mat1.]
A flat-topped mound of earth, often made artificially in the Middle Ages, on which was built a wooden or stone defensive structure.
[From French, from Old French mote, mound; see moat.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Historical Terms) history a natural or man-made mound on which a castle was erected
[C14: see moat]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a mound surmounted by a tower, which together with a bailey comprised an early Norman castle.
[1885–90; < French: mound; see moat]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.